Tell us about yourself!
My name is Zach Gelb and I was the Senior Boys Division Leader in 2015 and will be the Hi-Senior Boys Division Leader in 2016. This will be my 14th summer at Pine Forest Camp. I was a camper for 8 summers and a staff member for 5, going on 6 summers.
What did you get out of your position as Senior Boys Division Leader?
My position was amazing. It was so much fun to interact with the kids and staff and watch them grow. The 7-8 weeks you spend at PFC will give you lifelong friends, a fantastic summer, and a bond you will always remember with the best people.
What makes a good counselor?
A great counselor can’t sweat the small stuff and has to be willing to try new things. Some of the best counselors I have seen always have great positive energy and are willing to help out in making the summer great for the kids.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in your Division Leader role?
I had a camper who was homesick. I paid extra attention to this boy and made sure he always had something to do. After the first week of camp, his homesickness improved. But for that week, it was challenging to make sure he was always distracted and having fun while also dealing with many other children at camp.
What was your favorite thing about your Division Leader role?
I like many things about camp such as: boys’ line-up, basketball leagues, banquet, evening activities, camp chants, campfires, A-Game, and color war. However, my favorite part is seeing kids upset on the last day. Yes, that may seem odd, but when campers and staff cry on the last day, you know you did your job since they don’t want to leave camp. Like I said, camp is a magical place and you will forever cherish the bonds you make. Each summer is different and it just gets better and better. To have a camper or staff member (yes, staff cry too) cry or say thank you on the final day shows how appreciative they were of their experience at camp.
What do you wish you knew before working at camp? Any advice for new counselors?
My advice would be to look at each day as a new day at camp. Try everything you can and break out of your comfort zone early. Being a camp counselor can be very rewarding and you need to take advantage of every opportunity, as the summer goes by very quickly. As far as supplies, make sure to bring an egg crate, a fan, bug spray, and some funny costumes. You can purchase most of that stuff near camp. I would also encourage you to try and meet other staff members, whether it be in person or online, before you come to camp, but this is not a necessity.